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Nigel Farage has hit back at the ‘untrue accusations’ that he is ‘small-minded and nasty’ ahead of his appearance on I'm A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!
The former UK Independence Party leader and Brexit Party leader, 59, was a leading voice in calling for Britain to leave the European Union for a number of years – and he believes he has been ‘demonised’ as a result.
Last month it emerged that the controversial politician was in talks to join this year’s cast of famous faces on I’m A Celebrity – after turning down the opportunity on a number of previous occasions – and earlier this week it was confirmed that he would take part in the hit ITV show.
Nigel, who is rumoured to be receiving the highest ever pay package in the history of the programme, said that entering the jungle on Sunday might give him the opportunity to 'dispel some misconceptions' about him.
He said: "I was for many years the lone voice saying Europe wasn’t where we should be, so I have been a little bit demonised. I am hoping those who hate me might hate me a little bit less afterwards."
He went on to acknowledge that it could be "a gamble" – adding: "The things I represent – mean-spirited, small-minded, nasty, the ‘little Englander’ – all those accusations that have been flung at me over the years just aren’t true. If we can dispel some of those misconceptions, then that will be a good thing too.”
Nigel added he was anticipating a "frosty" reception from some of his campmates – pointing to the reaction of some of the celebrities when Conservative politician Matt Hancock entered the jungle last year.
Matt’s reputation was in tatters after he was forced to resign in disgrace for breaking coronavirus lockdown rules through his affair with Gina Coladangelo in 2021 – and fellow I’m A Celeb 2022 star Boy George, whose mum was hospitalised with Covid during the pandemic, said he considered walking out in indignation over the former Health Secretary’s presence.
However, Matt did gain more popularity following his appearance on the show – with some commentators saying he had been ‘jungle-washed’.
Meanwhile, Nigel mocked the size of his fee for appearing on I’m A Celebrity – rumoured to be £1.5 million – in a video posted on social media.
In the clip, he is seen answering his mobile phone, saying: “Oh, hello. Yeah, no. I’m a Celebrity, I’m used to the annual call. I normally say ‘no’ but I’m a bit more thoughtful about it this year."
He adds: "Oh God, that’s short notice. To be honest, I’m actually off fishing next week, so a little bit tricky in terms of the dates.”
Nigel then says: “How much?! Well, I’ll see you in the jungle!”
However, his upcoming appearance on the show has not gone down well with I'm A Celeb fans, with some even saying they were going to "boycott" it.
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